Our event of the day is the third ODI between New Zealand and India at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui. The hosts have had a disastrous start to the series and currently trail India 2-0 meaning they must secure victory today if they are to cling on to any hopes they may have of winning the five-match series. India are one of the form teams in the world of cricket just now, and are enjoying a four-match win streak in the ODI format. Should they manage to notch their fifth straight win today, the tourists will wrap up the series with two games to spare, compounding further misery on an underperforming New Zealand side. The Black Caps have failed miserably to defend their home turf so far in this series, which seems ever more likely to have slipped away from them, after India took the opening two games. They have struggled on both sides of the ball, with their poor form at the crease only being compounded by their below par performance with the ball. With much of the team performing below their usual standards, Doug Bracewell has provided his nation with a little hope and has been their stand-out man of the series thus far. The fast-medium bowler dismissed the dangerous Rohit Sharma in the first ODI, which gave the hosts hope, but the rest of the bowling line-up failed to follow Bracewell’s example and managed to take just one more wicket in that match.
In the second ODI, Bracewell was the best New Zealand had to offer with the bat, but his 57 turned out to be academic and merely lowered the margin of defeat to double digits. The tourists’ performance so far has been the stark opposite to that of their opponents. RG Sharma recovered from his early dismissal in the first match to notch 87 in the second. Fellow opener Shikhar Dhawan added 66 more and ultimately the first six in the batting order combined for 324 runs, setting New Zealand a target they could not cope with. Left-armed spinner Kuldeep Yadav has shone when bowling the ball in this series, and has notched four wickets in each of the two games so far. His unorthodox bowling style has bamboozled the Black Caps’ batting order and has put his side in great stead to pull off a potential whitewash. New Zealand have to put in a big performance today to keep the series alive, which should result in an exciting match.
Honourable mentions around the globe go to the Fourth Round FA Cup tie between Barnet and Brentford at the Hive Stadium. In the game that has been dubbed ‘The Battle of the Bees’, Barnet will be looking to follow up their impressive win over Championship high-flyers Sheffield United to secure their first ever Fifth Round appearance, whilst Brentford will be after their fourth-straight win in all competitions. Elsewhere, in the NBA, the Indiana Pacers will look to keep in touch with the pace-setters of the Eastern Conference as they host the Golden State Warriors, who currently lead the way in the West, having won ten straight games. In Serie A, Empoli and Genoa will both look to keep the relegation zone at arm’s length as they face off at the Stadio Carlo Castellani. The Big Bash League also continues today as the Perth Scorchers welcome the Melbourne Renegades to the Optus Stadium, as the hosts look to snap their two-game losing streak. Finally, in the AFC Asian Cup, the first Semi-final will take place today as Iran and Japan will lock horns for a place in Friday’s final.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by Indian Cricket Team; Black Caps
See what else is happening in the world of sport